This blog was originally published in December 2020, and has been updated with new links.
In this blog I answer some of the questions asked by teachers, students and parents about the benefits of studying Level 3 FSMQ: Additional Mathematics (6993) alongside GCSE (9-1) Mathematics.
The Free Standing Maths Qualification (FSMQ) is designed as an enrichment qualification for Key Stage 4 students that have, or are targeting, a high grade in GCSE (9-1) Mathematics.
The exam will stretch students with stimulating questions on GCSE Maths content plus some additional material (such as logarithms and calculus) that enriches their key stage 4 curriculum.
The FSMQ encourages a love of maths, enabling students to show their confidence in the subject beyond the GCSE.
As well as giving students a whole extra qualification, delivering the FSMQ can also help to boost students’ GCSE (9-1) Maths confidence. You should find that students could start to pick up higher results in their GCSE, which will be a great benefit to both them and the centre (remembering of course that GCSE (9-1) Maths is double weighted in Progress 8).
Unlike some other enrichment qualifications, the FSMQ is just a single exam paper, so it doesn’t require multiple assessments in the summer on top of those that they will already be sitting. Students can use a calculator for 100% of the assessment too!
And finally, as it’s a Level 3 qualification, students can also pick up important UCAS points.
The FSMQ builds on the skills, knowledge and understanding acquired during GCSE (9–1) Maths lessons. Its content consists of an algebra section that underpins that qualification, four sections of ‘pure’ mathematics (each containing an ‘applied’ dimension) and two numerical sections.
For more details of how the FSMQ overlaps and progresses from the GCSE content, see our helpful mapping document.
The FSMQ will give students an introduction to some topics that appear in A Level Mathematics, so will benefit students considering going on to do the A Level.
The FSMQ however shouldn’t only be considered as an introduction to A Level Maths, the focus on applying mathematics will also support the progression of students across a range of other post-16 studies. For example, logarithms are used in chemistry for pH measurement, in geography for windspeed and earthquakes measurements, and in biology for population models.
Full content details of the qualification are found in the full FSMQ specification.
Full OCR support can be found on Teach Cambridge. Delivery guides, check in tests and other resources can be found on the Teaching area and past papers, two practice papers and sample assessment material are all available in the Assessment area.
Hodder Education produces a popular textbook for FSMQ as well as an exam practice book. Illuminate Publishing has also produced a textbook.
Further online support can be found on MEI’s Integral learning platform. Sign up for free access, funded by OCR, through ASMP.
How are you enriching the curriculum? Share your ideas and links in the comment box below. For some interesting maths puzzles, see our weekly #OCRMathspuzzle each Friday. If you have any queries or questions, you can email us at firstname.lastname@example.org, call us on 01223 553998 or tweet us @OCR_Maths. You can also sign up to subject updates and receive information about resources and support.
Steven joined OCR in 2014 and has worked on the redevelopment of OCR’s Entry Level, GCSE (9-1), FSMQ and A Level Mathematics/Further Maths qualifications. He now focuses mainly on supporting the Level 3 qualifications. Steven originally studied engineering before completing a PGCE in secondary mathematics. He began his teaching career with VSO in Malawi and has taught maths in both the UK and overseas.